My Menu Bar Disappears (Or How to Uninstall Google Updater?)

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Brad writes: I’ve been having an interesting issue after upgrading to Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro and was hoping you could enlighten me. Occasionally after booting up my Mac, say around 1 in 10 instances, I find that my menu bar fails to appear on screen. Other times the icons in the menu bar, such as spotlight and battery life, will appear, but there will be no menu bar border. Usually opening any application will spring the menu bar back onto the screen, but I’ve had a few occurrences where I had to reboot the machine to correct problem. It’s a puzzling issue, and I have no idea about where to even begin.


Brad - Chances are you had some Google software installed previously. There is an issue with Google Updater on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.x) which causes this exact issue. The best bet is to uninstall the Google Updater. 

Per Google’s Instructions:

To uninstall Google Updater, you first have to uninstall other Google software on your computer. You can’t uninstall Google Updater while you have Google software on your computer because we need it there to keep your software up-to-date.

  1. In Google Updater, click My Software List.
  2. If you have any Google software (other than Updater), click it, then click Uninstall.
  3. Click Google Updater.
  4. Click the Uninstall button. If asked, enter an adminstrator account name and password.

If you don’t want to uninstall your software but JUST your updater, our own John Martellaro wrote an excellent how-to article about removing unwanted software. In a nutshell, there’s an item in ~/Library/LaunchAgents that you need to pull. John’s article has the details.


This question was originally answered on MGG 251: AirPort, RSS, SuperDrives, and Altitudes

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Each week Dave Hamilton and John F. Braun provide some great troubleshooting advice to listeners of the Mac Geek Gab podcast. Here with MGG Answers we share some of those tips with the rest of the world!

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What does he do if he never had any Google apps installed?

Dave Hamilton

Then it may be something more general with the menu bar. The menu bar is controlled by SystemUIServer. It’s possible there’s a damaged preference there that’s causing issues—either that, or you might have some menu extra that’s getting in the way. Other than Apple widgets, what else do you have there? Try disabling some or all of that to see if it helps.
You could also try trashing the prefs file, which is


And then reboot.


I’ve been experiencing this problem?exactly how the original guy described it.  I didn’t remember installing any Google software since my Snow Leopard install.  Nor did I have a Google Updater to uninstall, like this article suggests.

However, I took the link to John M’s article about removing LaunchAgents.  Sure enough, there was a Google Contact Sync manager in there.

Wonder if I’m getting that because I have Address Book set to sync with Google Contacts?

Anyway, I removed it.  We’ll see if it helps.


Dave Hamilton

Thanks for the follow-up, Chadwick. It’s the collective brain-trust that makes all this work!


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